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Recommended reading
November 20, 2012

Why not use one of these books to spark discussion in your community about why homelessness exists on a systemic level and how we as individuals can work to end homelessness. If you do read one, let us know, or send us your own suggestions. We’d love to post your book review on our blog.

 

Recommended reading, part 1
 
Rachel and Her Children: Homeless Families in America (1988, reprinted in 2006)
By Jonathan Kozol
This is a classic, critically acclaimed look at homelessness by an award-winning, New York Times bestselling author. It’s based on interviews with families and highlights the effects of homelessness on children. Kozol breaks down stereotypes commonly associated with the poor and homeless and illuminates how it’s often the system, not the individual, to blame for the situation of being without a home.
 
Tell Them Who I Am: The Lives of Homeless Women (1995)
By Eliot Lebow
Jonathan Kozol highly recommends this book, so you know it’s worth the commitment to its 368 pages. Author Lebow, an anthropologist and college professor, invites the reader into the daily lives of homeless women he interviewed and observed in homeless shelters the in Washington, D.C., area. Publisher’s Weekly said the author “skillfully blend[s] a social scientist's objectivity with humanitarian concern.”  Lebow also wrote Talley's Corner (1967), a study of black street-corner life that's still read by college students.
 
Open Our Eyes: Seeing the Invisible People of Homelessness (2010)
By Kevin D. Hendricks
Hendricks shares more firsthand stories from homeless people from various backgrounds, as well as reflections and insights from experts and people who work to address homelessness every day. Plus there’s a shout out to Mark Horvath, creator of InvisiblePeopleTV, a YouTube channel focused on interviews with people experiencing homelessness. At 100 pages, this is a quick read with an impact, an intro to homelessness for the Twitter generation and beyond. And who knows, perhaps local author Hendricks could come speak at your congregation about the book and the issue.
 
Special thanks to our summer intern, Joe Kriesman, for his work to compile this list. Look for part 2 later this month.